Spring is officially here—and with it comes the time-honored tradition of dusting off winter’s cobwebs and giving our homes a good cleaning. This year, mbg is teaming up with trusted experts across all walks of wellness to provide a full week of spring cleaning inspiration. Today, neuroscientist and natural beauty expert Leigh Winters spills about the one natural cleaner she uses on everything.
I’ve always enjoyed cleaning, but it wasn’t until three years ago that I truly realized the majority of our everyday cleaning products are riddled with synthetic toxins linked to asthma, allergies, and even reproductive issues.
When I embarked on my graduate studies in neuroscience to study olfaction and its effects on our psychology and physiology, I also decided to study aromatherapy on the side for some complementary fun. Honestly, I didn’t think it would ever amount to much. But I was mistaken, and before I knew it, I was hooked on anything aromatic—including using essential oils in lieu of traditional (and not-so-healthy) cleaning products.
Essential oils are unique in that you’re able to try your hand at some DIY formulation with two goals in mind: finding a scent you like and blending for therapeutic benefit. Many people don’t realize that the most robust clinical research conducted on essential oils aims to uncover their antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.
Using essential oils to clean not only helps you and your family stay healthy, but you’ll also save money, create less waste, and reduce the toxic load on the environment. Plus, going green with your cleaning routine likely involves items that you already have stocked in your homes like white distilled vinegar, baking soda, borax, and vegetable glycerin.
Here’s my go-to recipe for a multipurpose cleaning spray that’s safe to use on most any countertop or table. I swear by it for my kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
Here’s how I use my aromatic lemon and lavender cleanser on everything.
Makes about 10 ounces
- 5 ounces distilled water
- 5 ounces white distilled vinegar
- 58 drops lemon essential oil
- 50 drops tea tree essential oil
- 18 drops lavender essential oil
Add all the essential oils to a glass spray bottle, then add the water and vinegar. Shake before using.
Lemon, tea tree and lavender are a powerful cleaning trifecta since they provide a crisp, clean smell and all act as antimicrobials. Lavender and tea tree are both powerful antivirals and antifungals that are great for any beginner wanting to get started with essential oils for household cleaning.
Method # 2 How lavender makes cleaning the windows
So excited about this series…. I’ve had so much fun putting it all together! Part of the journey for me has been about how I can integrate aromatic plants with essential oils or sometimes simply to use aromatic plants (dried or fresh herbs). As a gardener, a herbalist and an aromatherapist, integrating the two make sense and I trust this series will inspire you to do the same.
I thought it would be valuable, to begin with, a couple of cleaning products. Why? Because a huge part of the product and/or remedy making is ensuring your kitchen or work-space is clean: top to bottom. Your products safety and longevity depends on it!
Personally, I love to clean but I know some people who just can’t stand it, so I hope these beautiful cleaning products inspire you to enjoy cleaning just a bit more. The cleaning products we share in this series are the only three products I use to clean my home. Yes, only 3 simple and easy-to-prepare products.
Plus, we will show you how to make a beautiful basket of our 3 of favorite natural cleaning products for a holiday gift. I am sure we all know of at least one person who would benefit from being exposed to natural cleaning products!
So here’s #1: Lavender/Lemon Window Spray
I don’t know about you but I cannot stand the way vinegar smells! Essential oils help for sure, but I have found that infusing the vinegar with different dried herbs goes a long way to helping me want to use it as a natural cleaning product ingredient. And lavender/lemon! Well, the lavender makes cleaning windows or mirrors that much more relaxing while the lemon not only cleans (antimicrobial and general cleanser), it supports my immune system! I also love the way lavender and lemon marry to create a beautiful aroma! How’s that for simple yet effective…..
Here’s what you’ll need:
︎ 16 oz Glass sprayer bottle or plastic is fine too.
︎ 1/2 to 3/4 cup Dried lavender flowers
︎ Lemon essential oil
︎ 16 fl oz White vinegar
How to make:
1. Place 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dried lavender flowers in a container.
2. Cover lavender flowers with vinegar.
3. Add 50 drops of Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil.
4. Gently shake the bottle.
5. Let sit for 2 hours.
6. Label product. (We will be covering how to create labels in our next post.)
Your Lavender/Lemon window spray is now ready to use.
You can leave the lavender flowers in for approx. 2-5 days and then will want to strain them out. They will lose their color and simply not look as pretty plus they may clog your sprayer.
Go ahead, try it out. You will be amazed at how well it cleans your windows and mirrors.
Why use glass? I really love to use glass to make our cleaning products not only because they won’t be leaching potentially toxic chemicals into the brew but also you can clean and refill them. If you love these glass bottles as much as I do, I ordered mine here. These are a bit pricey so if you find cheaper ones please do let me know. You can also use plastic spray bottles found at home stores such as Home Depot or Lowes or save the glass bottles from products you purchase and try and find a spray that fits that particular bottle that you have!